Causes and correlates of prison inmate misconduct: A systematic review of the evidence

 

 

Benjamin Steiner, H. Daniel Butler, Jared M. Ellison

Journal of Criminal Justice

November–December 2014

 

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235214000749

 

Abstract

Purpose

Inmate rule violations or “misconducts” reflect offending within a prison, and this study involved a systematic review of studies of the causes/correlates of inmate misconduct published between 1980 and 2013.

Methods

An exhaustive search of relevant high impact journals yielded 98 studies of causes/correlates of inmates misconduct published between 1980 and 2013. The final models from these studies were examined to assess the impact of the predictor variables on misconduct.

Results

Findings revealed that predictor variables reflecting inmates’ background characteristics (e.g., age, prior record), their institutional routines and experiences (e.g., prior misconducts), and prison characteristics (e.g., security level) all impact misconduct.

Conclusions

Researchers should apply general theories of crime and deviance (e.g., control) that can incorporate all of the empirically relevant inmate and prison characteristics to the study of offending in prison (misconduct). Researchers should also examine the sources of variability in the effects of predictor variables across studies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee

www.hsjcc.on.ca/